One Night with the Duke

Forever: Grand Central. (Belmore Square, Bk. 1). Apr. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781538726174. pap. $16.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
This “Belmore Square” series launch is Malpas’s (The Resurrection) first foray into historical romance. Eliza Melrose is 19 when her newspaper publisher father’s fortunes take a drastic turn for the better, launching the entire family into the whirl of a London society season. Eliza would rather be an investigative reporter for her father’s paper than a nobleman’s prize at the altar, however, and resents the sudden and complete change to her life and future plans. When the notorious Duke of Chester returns to Belmore Square, Eliza finds herself drawn to both the puzzle of his past and the present temptation he offers. Her fascination could lead them to a happily-ever-after or a life of misery.
VERDICT Though it’s possible that fans of Malpas’s contemporary romances might be satisfied with this effort, those who typically enjoy Regency romances are unlikely to be as forgiving. This novel is unevenly paced, with inconsistent characters who feel out of place in their setting, and provides an unnecessarily convoluted plot.
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